Symbols of the Renaissance in Tears from Heaven, a Solo Exhibition by J. Ariadhitya Pramuhendra

Srisasanti Gallery proudly presents Tears from Heaven, an inaugural solo exhibition by J. Ariadhitya Pramuhendra (b. 1984, Indonesia) with the gallery. Pramuhendra is an Indonesian artist who has most consistently worked with paintings and charcoal drawings. An important element of Pramuhendra’s work are self-portraits, with the artist often placing himself as the protagonist or central figure in the narrative. His creation process involves staging a scene, photographing it, and then meticulously transferring it to canvas using just charcoal and his fingers. Pramuhendra's search for self-identity takes center stage in his creations, prompting introspective questions about self, religion, and social role. Trained as a graphic printmaker, Pramuhendra's transition to dry media, primarily charcoal pencil on paper or canvas, has resulted in intense, meticulous and rich grayscale images. Whether working with drawings, installations or photography, he maintains a commitment to a black and white aesthetic. His use of chiaroscuro becomes a metaphorical exploration, where light symbolizes the divine presence. In this solo exhibition, Pramuhendra displays two installations and eleven new charcoal drawings on canvas that were created in 2024.


Pramuhendra has long had an interest in religious themes—especially in Catholicism—where the symbolism and composition that can be found in his works often refer to the Holy Bible or Renaissance paintings. However, he dedicated this exhibition to discussing contemporary issues surrounding women, which are presented through the figures of those who are the main characters in this series of his works. His current work focuses on women's capacities beyond the social roles usually assigned or imposed on them. The title of this exhibition is taken from the title of the main work, Tears from Heaven—an installation work that presents an appropriation of Michelangelo's Pieta with artificial rain that resembles tears falling from "heaven."


Tears from Heaven is presented on the first floor of the gallery made dim and accompanied by the song “Fall” by Icelandic band Sigur Ros. On the second floor of the gallery, Pramuhendra showcases his installation in the form of big black charred wooden blocks, piled up to mimic the ruins of a cross. This installation is titled Calvary—referring to the hill wherein Christ was crucified—reminding us of worldly mortality. As can be seen in the installation, the "dark-light" dichotomy is the main force in Pramuhendra's charcoal paintings. In this exhibition Pramuhendra created a painting measuring 4 x 18 meters entitled In the Quiet Night of The Grand Theater, which depicts 22 women sitting facing a long dining table, mimicking the composition of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. This painting is the largest painting the artist has ever created so far and the largest painting ever exhibited in the gallery.

Tears from Heaven will be open to the public from June 30 to August 11 2024 at Tirtodipuran Link Building B, Yogyakarta. Exhibition opening hours are Monday to Friday, 12:00 to 19:00 WIB and Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 to 20:00 WIB.

About the Author

Alessandra Langit

Alessandra Langit is a writer with seven years of diverse media experience. She loves exploring the quirks of girlhood through her visual art and reposting Kafka’s diary entries at night.